Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Side Effects

So it seems kinda fitting that I am starting my new blog with the end of something else, that end is the film career end of Steven Soderbergh. Well, that is what he says anyway, he has said he will be working on TV and theater. He does have one more movie  the Liberace biopic. Although it is to be a TV movie for HBO stateside it will get a theatrical release here. But withe the quality of Soderbergh's work the last 7/8 years it seems a shame that he may actually be serious.

The plot sees Emily Taylor (Rooney Mara) who falls victim to depression upon the release of her husband Martin (Channing Tatum) from prison after a sentence for insider trading. She soon finds herself in the care of psychiatrist Johnathon Banks (Jude Law). After been prescribed a new drug Ablixa, things start to take a turn for the worst.

With the quality of Soderbergh's work of late, including Haywire and Magic Mike, I had no doubt going in that this would be good, but I was not prepared for how great it is. This is the second movie in the space of a week that can honestly be refereed to as Hitchcock-esque, with Stoker last week.

But while this is similar to Hitchcock thrillers it is definitely not a cheap knock-off.

The movie is stylishly shot, like all of Soderbergh's and pacing is exceptional.The plot takes a few twists and turns and is nothing short of engrossing from start to finish.

The  performances too are spot on, Mara and Law are fantastic in their roles and have great support from Tatum and Zeta-Jones.

It is very hard to talk fully without spoilers, which I will do shortly, but overall this is one of Soderbergh's finest moments and it is a shame he will not be delivering quality like this from now on, all I can say is that TV and theater are lucky!


Movies like this that contain twists and turns are very hard to speak about without spoilers. So here is the spoiler section.

The first semi-twist comes with the catalyst for the movie, Emily, now using some experimental drugs, kills her husband while sleepwalking. This leads to Law's character's life is sent into turmoil as he falls under blame. But as he tries to clear his name and help Emily he investigates her past and her original psychiatrist, Victoria Siebert, he begins to uncover a plot that may show that Emily is not as innocent as she seems.

So to the big twist, it turns out that Emily and Dr Siebert entered into a relationship and plotted the murder of Tatum's character. They decide to use her depression and blame side effects of certain drugs to cover the murder.
But Law's character uncovers it by manipulating both of them into betraying the other.

So from the trailer and what I read I was expecting this to be an indictment of prescription medication and there effects on some people. But it isn't  in the end it is people who are to blame for their actions, and not the side effects of prescribed medication and I think that that was Soderbergh's intention.

While the characters try to blame the side effects of prescription drugs, it is their own greed that is to blame.

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